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Become A Room Server

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Working As A Room Server

  • Getting Information
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $18,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Room Server Do

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking establishments.

Duties

Food and beverage serving and related workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and answer their questions about menu items and specials
  • Take food or drink orders from customers
  • Prepare food and drink orders, such as sandwiches, salads, and coffee
  • Relay customers’ orders to other kitchen staff
  • Serve food and drinks to customers at a counter, at a stand, or in a hotel room
  • Clean assigned work areas, dining tables, or serving counters
  • Replenish and stock service stations, cabinets, and tables
  • Set tables or prepare food trays for new customers

Food and beverage serving and related workers are the front line of customer service in restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service establishments. Depending on the establishment, they take customers’ food and drink orders and serve food and beverages.

Most work as part of a team, helping coworkers to improve workflow and customer service. The job titles of food and beverage serving and related workers vary with where they work and what they do.

The following are examples of types of food and beverage serving and related workers: 

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food, are employed primarily by fast-food restaurants. They take food and beverage orders, prepare or retrieve items when ready, fill cups with beverages, and accept customers’ payments. They also heat food items and make salads and sandwiches.

Counter attendants take orders and serve food over a counter in snack bars, cafeterias, movie theaters, and coffee shops. They fill cups with coffee, soda, and other beverages, and may prepare fountain specialties, such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Counter attendants take carryout orders from diners and wrap or place items in containers. They clean counters, prepare itemized bills, and accept customers’ payments.

Food servers, nonrestaurant, serve food to customers outside of a restaurant environment. Many deliver room service meals in hotels or meals to hospital rooms. Some act as carhops, bringing orders to customers in parked cars.

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers—sometimes collectively referred to as bus staff—help waiters, waitresses, and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables, removing dirty dishes, and keeping serving areas stocked with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals out of the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments. Cafeteria attendants stock serving tables with food trays, dishes, and silverware. They sometimes carry trays to dining tables for customers. Bartender helpers keep bar equipment clean and glasses washed. 

Hosts and hostesses greet customers and manage reservation and waiting lists. They may direct customers to coatrooms, restrooms, or a waiting area until their table is ready. Hosts and hostesses assign guests to tables suitable for the size of their group, escort patrons to their seats, and provide menus. They also take reservations over the phone, arrange parties, and help with other customers’ requests.

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How To Become A Room Server

Most food and beverage service jobs are entry-level jobs and do not require a high school diploma. The majority of workers receive short-term on-the-job training.

Most states require workers, such as nonrestaurant servers, who serve alcoholic beverages to be 18 years of age or older.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food and beverage serving worker.

Training

Most workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Training includes basic customer service, kitchen safety, safe food-handling procedures, and good sanitation habits.

Some employers, particularly those in fast-food restaurants, teach new workers with the use of self-study programs, online programs, audiovisual presentations, or instructional booklets that explain food preparation and service procedures. However, most food and beverage serving and related workers learn their skills by watching and working with more experienced workers.

Some full-service restaurants provide new dining room employees with classroom training sessions that alternate with periods of on-the-job work experience. The training communicates the operating philosophy of the restaurant, helps new employees establish a personal rapport with other staff, teaches employees formal serving techniques, and instills a desire in the staff to work as a team.

Some nonrestaurant servers and bartender helpers who work in establishments where alcohol is served may need training on state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate such training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities are limited to those who remain on the job for a long time. However, some dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers may advance to waiter, waitress, or bartender positions as they learn the basics of serving food or preparing drinks.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Food and beverage serving and related workers must listen carefully to their customers’ orders and relay them correctly to the kitchen staff so that the orders are prepared to the customers’ request.

Customer-service skills. Food service establishments rely on good food and customer service to keep customers and succeed in a competitive industry. As a result, workers should be courteous and be able to attend to customers’ requests.

Physical stamina. Food and beverage serving and related workers spend most of their worktime standing, carrying heavy trays, cleaning work areas, and attending to customers’ needs.

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Room Server Career Paths

Room Server
Hostess Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Food Runner Driver Operation Supervisor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Front Desk Agent Assistant General Manager Food And Beverage Manager
Banquet Director
7 Yearsyrs
Security Guard Instructor Chairperson
Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Food And Beverage Supervisor Food And Beverage Manager General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Dining Room Supervisor Restaurant Manager General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Person General Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Barista Chef
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Barista Specialist Program Director
Executive Director
10 Yearsyrs
Food And Beverage Supervisor Restaurant Manager
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Guest Services Agent Assistant General Manager Kitchen Manager
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Guard Operations Manager Chief Executive Officer
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Hostess Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Dining Room Supervisor General Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Teacher Writer And Editor Marketing Communications Specialist
Marketing Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Guest Services Agent Night Auditor Assistant General Manager
Restaurant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Service Representative Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Food Runner Security Officer Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Person Account Executive Assistant Vice President
Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
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Room Server Demographics

Gender

Female

57.7%

Male

40.7%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

57.4%

Hispanic or Latino

20.3%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.4%

French

6.3%

German

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Bulgarian

3.1%

Hindi

3.1%

Filipino

3.1%

Greek

3.1%

Cayuga

3.1%

Serbian

3.1%

Macedonian

3.1%

Bengali

3.1%

Croatian

3.1%
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Room Server Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.1%

Miami Dade College

7.3%

Grand Valley State University

7.3%

Michigan State University

7.3%

Valencia College

7.3%

University of Central Florida

5.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.5%

Delgado Community College

5.5%

University of Wyoming

5.5%

Atlanta Metropolitan State College

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Bunker Hill Community College

3.6%

College of the Desert

3.6%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

3.6%

Pima Community College

3.6%

Wytheville Community College

3.6%

University of California - San Diego

3.6%

Georgia Perimeter College

3.6%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.6%

University of Montana

3.6%
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Majors

Business

17.8%

Psychology

8.2%

Hospitality Management

8.2%

Medical Assisting Services

7.8%

Health Care Administration

6.4%

Communication

5.0%

Criminal Justice

4.6%

English

4.1%

Culinary Arts

3.7%

General Studies

3.7%

Liberal Arts

3.7%

Management

3.7%

Marketing

3.7%

Accounting

3.7%

Photography

3.2%

Computer Science

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.7%

Biology

2.7%

Nursing

2.3%

Political Science

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

35.7%

Bachelors

35.7%

Associate

17.0%

Masters

4.4%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

2.1%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Room Server

  1. Guest Satisfaction
  2. Room Service Orders
  3. Beverage Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided excellent customer service and fostered guest satisfaction in a fast-paced hotel environment.
  • Set, deliver, and serve Room Service orders according to Loews Hotels standards.
  • Interact with customers, mix adult beverages for customers and fill dining room server beverage orders.
  • Maintained high standards of customer service during high-volume, fast-paced operations.
  • Prepare and dish up meal garnishes to guests with room delivery for amenities.

How Would You Rate Working As a Room Server?

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Top Room Server Employers

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